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Study Finds Vitamin B Does Not Prevent Mental Decline

A study from Oxford University, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that vitamin B did not slow or prevent mental decline due to age. Researchers analyzed data from 22,000 people across 11 trials. While vitamin B did significantly reduce levels of homocysteine, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, there was no corresponding improvement in speed, memory, or executive function. Although no improvements were found, the press release noted that vitamin B may be beneficial for specific groups with dementia, and that maternal folic acid intake continues to be advised. Other studies have come to different conclusions regarding vitamin B’s effects on cognitive decline, including one from 2010 that found vitamin B protected against brain shrinkage and another from 2008 that showed vitamin B may protect against cognitive decline in women with insufficient vitamin intake. Further, an in-depth review of the full study is needed to properly evaluate its results, as is the continued effort to research dementia, a disease that currently affects one in three people over the age of 65.

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